Alan Shatter has assured the Dáil he has full confidence in the workings Office of the State Pathologist after last week’s shock resignation of the deputy state pathologist, Dr Khalid Jaber.
Just three pathologists must cover the country seven days a week following Dr Jaber’s departure and concerns were expressed in the Dáil about the workload.
Saudi-born Dr Jaber, 55, resigned following a period of mounting tension with his boss Prof Marie Cassidy. He questioned her suitability for the role as state pathologist while she had written to the DPP expressing reservations about the quality of his evidence in cases of suspicious death.
Yesterday, Fine Gael’s Charlie Flanagan questioned the workload of the office.
He told a special Dáil debate the pathologists had to travel to “far-flung parts of the island” at very little notice and it was important the regime was maintained.
Junior minister Kathleen Lynch said the justice minister fully appreciated that a number of issues arise at an operational level in relation to the departure of Dr Jaber. But the department was actively pursuing a replacement. In relation to weekend cover which used to be covered by Dr Jaber, she said assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster would assume the weekend on-call duties.
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